We are two RISD students doing a collaborative study project that explores the possibilities of natural dyeing techniques. Through the study of natural dyes, we will explore how a consciousness of the source of materials relates to the work produced. We are very interested in sustainability in the work that we create as well as social change as a result of the things communicated through our work. Through this project we wish to learn the technical aspects of natural dyeing as well as address the issues one faces when deciding to use natural dyes (e.g. how can natural dyes contribute to contemporary art when other, more varied material options abound?, how much does the decision to use natural dyes limit the creative potential of a fabric? can a truly sustainable fabric exist, given the number of factors one must consider in the manufacturing of fiber?) . The work produced through this project will seek to address these issues specifically within the context of RISD, focusing on how to source dyes locally in the Northeast, as well as on how natural dyeing can be used in the Textile industry. Through our exploration we will be analyzing the potential applicability of natural dyes and possible setbacks. We will constantly question the degree to which it is a sustainable practice.
We welcome any and all suggestions, comments, and questions!
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